1.28.2009

Avoid Neck Pain on the Bike

Introduction
About half of all cyclists battle with neck pain during long rides. That's little wonder when you consider that some of the least used muscles in your body are suspending the equivalent of a bowling ball (about 10 pounds) over your bar. The muscles in the upper back and shoulder blades are the ones that support your torso on the  bike. Stronger upper back muscles will provide greater shock absorption and reduce shoulder and neck fatigue.

To say goodbye to neck pain, practice these two simples moves twice a week:

Prone Y & T
Lie face down on a stability ball, arms in front in a Y position. With thumbs up, raise your arms while pulling your shoulder blades down and in. Contract your abs. Hold for a count of tow, then lower and repeat. Do 10 reps. For the next set, perform the same move, but with arms to the sides in a T position. See picture on left below.

Stability Push-Up
Place your hands on the sides of a stability ball, fingers pointing down, and assume a push-up position, arms and legs extended, so your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels. Perform as many push-ups as possible while maintaining good form. Do 2 sets. See picture on right below.
Sources
Bicycling: Hold Your Head High, Chris Carmichael

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